Monday, September 8, 2014

Friends To Call My Own (Part I)

So I went to frisbee. I decided since I had a bunch of time to kill that I would just walk. So I left early and just wandered. I thought I was lost (but later learned I hadn't actually been) so I doubled back and took another road. This took me by a huge recycling center, which was up against a park. I decided to cut through the park (not the smartest idea), because I remembered google maps trying to take me that way initially. I got to the other side eventually, and then ended up on a motorway with not really much of a sidewalk. Like if I had tripped I would have died. It was kind of sketch and I wouldn't do it again (sorry Mom). Anyway, I eventually got to the Sports Complex. They were playing CRICKET!!! GUYS. LEGIT, ACTUAL FOR REAL CRICKET. Like not even Casey Jones-style. I didn't see anyone playing Disc though. Hmm. So I went to the Reception and asked where they would be playing. She said she didn't have anyone scheduled, which should have set off alarm bells, but I just chocked it up to being early. I sat down and watched some football (soccer) and waited. As the time for kickoff got closer and no one was there still, I began to get a bit worried. Wouldn't people be here by now to warm up? I walked around some more to make sure I hadn't missed any pitches and they were playing where I couldn't see them. 2pm came and went and nothing. I was confused and probably in the wrong place. I was so frustrated because I thought I had been sure I had the right place. I walked an hour and a blinkin' half to get here!! AGH.

I went back to reception and asked if she could look up their page for me since I had no mobile and had only just arrived. Yup. Wrong venue. Curse words. I had her call me a cab and burned another £7 getting to the right field. Which interestingly enough, I PASSED on my trip out to Garscube. Ugh. I could have saved myself time and money. I ended up not being too late though because the first game was Team 1st place v. Team 4th place. I had been picked up by the team in 3rd place. I was excited to play. The captain said I was already famous in Glasgow Ultimate and that he'd heard all about me. I didn't know if I should be impressed or scared. I tried to get amped up but ended up coming out the gate in my head, and dropped a bunch of passes in the first game, where we were playing the 2nd place team for the spot in the finals. I let the team down which was frustrating and not at all how I wanted to start my run here. They had a wide range of players and it definitely reminded me of an SLC Fall or Winter league. Good, high level play. They run some of their stacks differently, just a little, which I had a hard time getting with at first. They also run their handlers different against a zone and I was asked to handle a few points. So there will definitely be some adjusting. Some of the players were very welcoming though and I'm excited to see what happens next with me trying to find a place in this community. The 2nd game I got my head on right and played much better, getting a D or 2, and catching some scoring passes. That wasn't the game that mattered as much, so I felt bad, but the 2nd place team went on to upset the 1st place team, so everyone (except the 1st place team) were very happy with the results.

After that we hung round a bit and just chatted and I tried to feel out what the next few months would be. Next league will apparently be indoors 5 v 5 so I can work on my throws and accuracy as well as a bit more handler cutting. After that I came home and made myself some dinner. I was tired, and hot, and sweaty, but I cooked anyway. If I didn't start a) my food would go bad and b) I'd get into the habit of not, and that would not go well on my wallet. So I whipped up a salad. Lettuce, with carrot; cucumber; orange, yellow and red peppers; chili and lime chicken and shredded edam cheese.

It turned out pretty good. Made almost the same thing for breakfast this morning, except instead of lettuce with scrambled eggs.

Later on in the evening, I was taking out some recycling and met a kid sitting on the bench talking to the housing security guard. Turns out he's from America too, on a 1-year History masters. He's from Pennsylvania. We'll call him NaK. So we sat and chatted a good while until it got too cold to be outside. Then we decided we'd go to Uni together in the morning to get our essentials sorted.

So after breakfast we set out to the University to do our international visa check-in. They require you to present with your visa (so they can make a copy and confirm you're here) in order for them to take the hold off your account so you can register for classes, get your ID, etc. At the behest of several people, I tried to be more "touristy" and take more pictures.

Statue of Kelvin in the foreground and the Kelvigrove museum in the background. On the walk from my house to the Uni.

The main Uni building. I'm sure I'll be back here later to take a bunch more pictures. Today, we had places to go though, so we did that.

Closer zoom of the main gothic-inspired spire.

Inside the atrium of the main building, there are wings or sections devoted to different disciplines. This was our favorite, as it led down some shoddy stairs into a scary-dungeon-esque place.

Also this. Because doors that are unreachable are architecturally genius.

So NaK and I queued up for the visa check-in and met a girl from New Orleans who was all too happy to gripe about our various accommodations with us. Oh, us spoiled Americans. After we got checked in we were clear to go pick up our student ids. So we set off and I promptly misguided them into the wrong room where I thought we were getting IDs but were actually getting our orientation packets with tickets to the various things we'd signed up for. Neither of them had done that, so they both just left me. I got my packet and sorted myself to find the proper queue (and room) for the actual IDs. They were in front of my quite a ways, but there was a person stopping everyone at the door to make sure they had done the visa check-in and 90% of them hadn't. So I ended up right back with NaK and the girl. She was here to study something politics related, I forgot. She ditched us right after getting her ID anyway. So lame. When I got to the ID table they said they hadn't printed mine yet, and I thought for a minute he asked me to retake my photo, which I was kind of aghast about. I mean, I don't have to look super, but I looked a MESS this morning (on purpose). I just threw on some clothes and a winter hat and went. NaK said I looked super-hipster, but whatev. I had a hoodie too because it was trying to decide if it was going to be cold or not. Thankfully the just printed the ID there off the photo I'd submitted previously (like a month ago!) and we were good. We then went to find the bookstore (which NaK wasn't convinced was a thing here, but I was like yo they have to have it. I'm not going all over Glasgow trying to find an obscure book for my Litt class... they will have them) and also to try and figure out about our Financial Aid (aka when would I not be poor and be able to start living off wads of borrowed money). That took some time (the queue was so long... and to be fair we went in the wrong one, but I wasn't sure), then we decided to head home for a bit. Part of getting our aid is opening a bank account here (my taxes are so screwed for 2014) and we needed some letter of support from the Uni to do that. So we went home to check that out. At which point I discovered I have been errored out of all my links and therefore still cannot register for classes even though the visa check-in today was the final barrier to that. Eh. Who needs school?! >.>

I was set on going to IKEA out in the boonie boonies to get pots and a cutting board and what not that I still need to actually be able to cook properly. NaK was sorta on-board for going with, but also wanted to go to the City Centre. So I agreed to go there first. I mean I already have the subway pass, so why not? And I knew the subway already and he didn't, and I knew how to get there, and he didn't... so yeah let's go.

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